3 things we learned from the Design Your Talk Topic Workshop

This past week in San Francisco, Sara Khoury, User Experience Design Director at Google, led a workshop for us on Designing your Talk Topic.

Women Talk Design offers a two-day speaking workshop, but due to time constraints, we ask participants to come in prepared with their talk topic. This is where a lot of people can get stuck.

“I can list a bunch of cool interesting topics, but what can I talk about, what should I talk about, what do I want to talk about?”

And so, the workshop. Here’s what we learned:


  1. Know your audience

Think of your audience as your users. Who are they? What do they want to know? Why are they there? What are their motivations and needs? Start there.

2. Define your value proposition

You might be able to think of different hot topics you think you should be speaking on — AI, design systems, etc. — but what is your unique value proposition? What experiences do you have that you can offer your audience? If you have experienced on more popular topics, what angle can you bring?

3. Refine and ask for feedback

With our audience in mind, and our newly developed unique value proposition, we are able to brainstorm ideas for our talk.

Next step? Share and get feedback. Tell a co-worker, or friend. Watch their reaction, listen to what they say.

Especially when we think about our own value proposition, it takes hard work, and deep digging. You need to invest the time to do this, so you can give the best talk that you are uniquely qualified to give, and can deliver it authentically. It’s a process, but worth the investment before you start crafting your actual talk.

Happy ideating!


A big thank you to Sara, our partners at Ladies that UX SF with whom we offered the workshop, and Google for hosting us.